Victoria's Secret: Angels and Demons: Inventing Victoria / The Secret Friend / Tarnished Angels
August 7, 2022 6:36 PM - Season 1, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Investigated with journalistic rigor by director Matt Tyrnauer, this documentary tells the searing and provocative story of the Victoria's Secret brand and its longtime CEO, the larger-than-life, enigmatic billionaire Les Wexner. The underworld of fashion, the billionaire class, and Jeffrey Epstein are all revealed to be inextricably intertwined with the fall of this legendary brand. Available in the US on Hulu.

“The series is notable for its insight into a moment in which an underwear brand shaped not just the market, but also the very culture of America. Why, it might lead you to wonder, did so many of us buy what Victoria’s Secret was selling?” - Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic
posted by riruro (5 comments total)
 
I have several friends that worked for L Brands and the insight into how L Brands works is really interesting. They all worked there as catalogs naturally lent themselves well to being transformed into e-commerce sites. I have no insight except the way they talked about the "L Brand method" is exactly how these people talked about it. These are grizzled, nihilistic people who just wanted to make money and get out yet they seemed to drink the Kool-Aid as they said in the episode.

To me the concept of a theme store, which is basically what they were, feels so, so 80s. When I was in high school of course I wanted Abercrombie and Fitch only because the other kids were wearing it. And you know what the customer service was fantastic. I had some friends who were very wealthy and we went to a Prada store, I spent the entire summer saving up to buy something -- anything Prada. It is stupid now but hey I was in my teens. I went with my friends and I think I found a belt or something in my price range and the salesman with a heavy posh accent took it from me and put it back asking me directly if I could afford it. I will never forget that, never happened at an L-Brand store.
posted by geoff. at 5:57 AM on August 8 [2 favorites]


I thought that it was interesting. You had this company that was all women, except for a couple of guys at the top, who turned out to be nearly untouchable. And when the market changed, they guys kept going, until it was too late.
Also, the Epstein connection was weird. One of the journalists who covered the company in Ohio could speculate on the hold that Epstein had on Wexner, but he had never heard so much as a rumor as to anything improper going on.
posted by Spike Glee at 6:18 AM on August 8


Also, the Epstein connection was weird. One of the journalists who covered the company in Ohio could speculate on the hold that Epstein had on Wexner, but he had never heard so much as a rumor as to anything improper going on.

It is highly probable that Epstein found someone who probably wasn't around a lot of other Jewish people in Ohio, felt isolated and came to New York feeling even more isolated, yet here is this nice Jewish boy introducing him into a WASPy society. Bernie Madoff did exactly the same thing in exploiting feelings of oppression.

It is easy to think that Jeff Epstein had some sort of dark secret over every powerful man he managed to seduce, but that seems to be an Internet fantasy. More likely he's just very, very charming and intelligent.
posted by geoff. at 6:36 AM on August 8


Why, it might lead you to wonder, did so many of us buy what Victoria’s Secret was selling?

....Because a lot of people like sex?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:49 AM on August 8 [1 favorite]


~Why, it might lead you to wonder, did so many of us buy what Victoria’s Secret was selling?

~....Because a lot of people like sex?


There’s that, definitely. The other reason is that, save for large metropolises like NYC, LA, SF, etc., there really were no purveyors of high-ish-quality sexywear anywhere to be found for most people. The stuff VS brought to middle america had traditionally been seen as risqué and trampy. VS made it ok to buy and wear the stuff. Getting your special someone a little something from VS was a big deal. When a VS landed in your local mall, it was like a bomb hit.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:45 PM on August 19


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